Help Design a New Parklet at The SPACE_BETWEEN

Help Design a New Parklet at The SPACE_BETWEEN


Could you be the next great urban planner? Let’s find out.

Join us Wednesday, April 9 at The SPACE_BETWEEN as we envision creative ways to activate the vacant lot between Valley Youth Theater and Taylor Place Student Housing.

This temporary vacant lot activation project, part of Phoenix Urban Design Week, will bring a new community space to Downtown in the shape of a backyard patio where residents, visitors, downtown employees and students can play, relax and commune. Join us and offer your suggestions for the space – a team of designers will be on hand to translate your vision into a site plan that the Downtown Phoenix Partnership will then implement.
Explore these examples of temporary vacant lot activation projects around Downtown:

Little Free Libraries

Little Free Library

Outside of Fair Trade Cafe at Civic Space Park



Artist Made Planters

Public Art pots at Renaissance

Created by Jeff Slim and Ave Chee, these planters are located along Central Avenue outside of Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel. Photo by Jeff Slim.



Shade Trees, Grass & Public Art Projects

The Lot

“The Lot: What Should Go Here?” at Second and Roosevelt streets



Art Boards

Before I Die board

East side of First Street just south of Garfield Street (813 N. First Street)



Community Gardens

Community Garden

Roosevelt Growhouse on Sixth and Garfield streets



Temporary Pop-up Shops

Songbird popup

South side of Roosevelt Street just west of Fifth Street



Sustainable Initiatives

Goode Garden

G3 Demo Garden at Calvin C. Goode building (251 W. Washington Street)



Pop-Up Parks & Games

Pop Up Park

Downtown Phoenix Partnership Pop-Up Park at CityScape



Park(ing) Day Games, Music & More

Parking Day

The global event that turns metered parking spaces into mini parks, September 20 in 2013. South side of Washington Street between First and Second avenues



Shipping Container Projects

Hot Box Gallery

North side of Roosevelt Street just west of Fifth Street (408 E. Roosevelt Street)


Opening Day at Arizona Center

Opening Day at Arizona Center

Continuing our community building theme of Springing Into Action, let’s not forget about the group of fellas that bring 2 million people Downtown every year.

Arizona Center restaurants will be handing out free hot dogs beginning Monday at 2:30

Yup, spring also means the start of the Major League Baseball season and our future NL West champs will open their 17th season (!!!) in Downtown Phoenix on Monday against the division rival San Francisco Giants. Fans can rally behind their favorite team while celebrating this potential National Holiday in grand style by joining Arizona Center for a day-long tailgate.

Oh, did we mention free hot dogs?

That’s right, Arizona Center restaurants will be serving up a wide variety of the ballpark grub staple–from Sonoran style and Greek to the more traditional mustard and relish variety–to fans who can soak up the spring sunshine and play at the Pop-Up Park while counting down to the 6:40 p.m. first pitch at Chase Field. Here’s a timeline of Monday’s Opening Day fun:

11:30 – Pop-Up Park opens

2:30 Arizona Center restaurants begin hot dog service (while supplies last)

3:30 to Midnight FREE baseball fan parking in the Arizona Center garage

(This event is benefiting the 100 Club of Arizona so while you’re plowing through your second toppings heavy hot dog please don’t forget to make a donation that matches your appetite.)



Downtown Phoenix Will Be Super Bowl Central

Downtown Phoenix Will Be Super Bowl Central

super-bowl-announceIt’s official: Downtown Phoenix is Super Bowl Central for Arizona’s 2015 game! We’d like to say we’re surprised, but as we’ve seen over the last year, Downtown is THE place to be for major events.

Super Bowl Central – which includes all fan activities as well as the media center, NFL experience, NFL Headquarters and NFL House – will take over 12 city blocks in the heart of our city from Fifth Street to First Avenue, Jefferson to Monroe streets.

With two entertainment stages, beer and wine gardens, football fun, and cultural activities, you’re going to want to head straight for Downtown next February to be a part of the action.

Did we mention that the most iconic image for Super Bowl will be here too? You’re definitely going to want to snap a selfie next to the 30-foot tall Super Bowl XLIX Roman Numerals on Washington Street (you’ll also be able to see them as you go past on a Light Rail train).

Want to know what will go where? Read on for the breakdown:


Super Bowl Central

Twelve blocks of family-friendly fun. Look for two live performance stages featuring local and national acts, beer and wine gardens, and outdoor cultural- and football-themed activities (because it’ll be gorgeous in February). Super Bowl Central is a new addition from the last time we hosted the game in 2008, and one million people are expected to attend.

NFL Experience

Billed as the world’s largest interactive football theme park, this is the the big dog. It’ll take place at the Phoenix Convention Center and have everything from kid’s football clinics, interactive football games, free autograph sessions and so much more. Round up the kids and make this a priority!

NFL House

CityScape will play host to the VIP hospitality headquarters where the high-end business partners and VIPs will mingle.

NFL Media Center

Also in the Phoenix Convention Center, over 5,000 members of the media from 30 different countries will headquarter here for the week.



Play Urban Bingo To Win Free Tickets to MMMF

McDowell Mountain Music Festival returns to Downtown March 28-30. And, we have free tickets for you!

That is, if you can solve the new Downtown Urban Bingo and be the first to claim the tickets.

For your shot at a pair of tickets to the upcoming McDowell Mountain Music Festival, all you have to do is join us for a Twitter scavenger hunt through the streets of Downtown.



Here’s how it works:

1. Follow the Downtown Phoenix Partnership on Twitter.

2. On Wednesday, March 19 at 11 a.m., the first of five Urban Bingo clues will be called out.

3. Your job will be to solve each clue, take a selfie with the answer and tweet us your picture as proof.

4. Every 10 minutes we’ll announce another Urban Bingo clue for a total of five clues.

5. We have four prizes to give away. The first three people to solve all five clues and tweet us their selfies as proof will each win two passes to one of the three days of the McDowell Mountain Music Festival. The fourth person will win one three-day pass to the festival.



New Downtown Podcast Shines Lights On Urban Topics

New Downtown Podcast Shines Lights On Urban Topics

Downtown Phoenix Podcast

The Downtown Phoenix Podcast, which aims to spur action by connecting people and ideas, launched its first episode on Monday with a conversation about the future of Downtown.

Urban enthusiast and podcast managing editor, Edward Jensen, sat down with David Krietor, CEO of Downtown Phoenix, Inc., (DPI) to discuss how DPI will shape the growth and future of Downtown Phoenix.

“If we’ve done one thing in the first eight or nine months of our operation,” Krietor says, it is to show that it’s an organization in which “everybody can work collaboratively on advancing the Downtown cause.”

One of the main talking points was Super Bowl XLIX and how DPI is partnering with the City of Phoenix and other organizations to prepare for the Valley-hosted game and festivities.

Overall, Krietor believes 2014 is going to be a big year for Downtown saying, “(It) is going to emerge as the most interesting, eclectic and vibrant element of the whole region.” He added, “It’s going to be an incredibly neat place, and it’s going to attract interesting people.”

You can listen to the full podcast here.

Editor’s note: This podcast is taped in the Downtown Phoenix Studios, an open community studio available to the public during business hours. If you are interested in taping your podcast in the community studio, please email

Top 5 Viral Videos Depicting Downtown

El Chullo Brings Peruvian Food to Downtown Phoenix

El Chullo

In Peruvian Spanish, “el chullo” refers to a special type of hat worn in the Andes to protect against harsh winter temperatures. While the term may not be familiar, most people would likely recognize these hats with their earflaps and tassels. This kind of headgear may not be required for any winter here in the Valley; however, this season has brought a restaurant by the same name to the Downtown food scene.

Located on the northeast corner of Seventh Street and Virginia Avenue, El Chullo opened less than two months ago. Omar, a friendly and knowledgeable graduate of Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, runs the restaurant with his younger brother and parents, who recently moved up from Lima, Peru. Together, they combine excellent traditional Peruvian cooking, personable service and a casual atmosphere that stand out among a handful of notable eateries located nearby.

My previous experience with Peruvian food had been at a high-caliber restaurant in Portland, Ore. called Andina; the food was superb, the atmosphere was electric and the bill was expensive. As soon as I sat down in the warm glow of El Chullo’s yellow walls and dark wood accents, I quickly scanned the menu for its price range. Most entrees fall between $10 and $15, and the portion sizes are generous. My date night rounded out to about $35 after tip.

We sat at the bar and were immediately served a small bowl of fried corn kernels and sample of “chicha,” a purple drink produced by boiling purple corn with pineapple juice and cinnamon. We perused the menu (pun intended) as Jose, our waitor, recommended a couple of appetizers to get us started. We chose the Yuca frita and papa rellena. Later, we split the aji de gallina, a chicken dish from the entrée menu.

Simply put, each dish was delicious. “Yuca frita” means fried Yucca root; the lightly fried slices of the root are served with two different creamy sauces, huancaina and ocopa, both made from a combination of chiles. I tasted the Yuca frita and knew that every penny would be well spent. The papa rellena was a savory dumpling style dish made from potato dough and pork. As we snacked on our appetizers, we chatted with the brothers about their experiences in Phoenix so far and ingredients of the dishes. The Friday night dinner crowd slowly trickled into the restaurant, and we watched the brothers serve each customer with the same warm enthusiasm.

Finally, our entree was placed before us. The aji de gallina combines shredded chicken and a creamy cheddar sauce over a layer of potatoes with a side of pyramid-shaped rice. All in all, the dish was simple but satisfying. Each flavor and texture worked well to provide a dense, savory taste. By the time we finished the dish, my date and I were both very full and happy with our choice. We finished our meal with a shot of mango juice and patron, the Peruvian equivalent of tequila according to Jose.

Talking with Omar, I mentioned my previous experience with Peruvian food. He quickly recognized the name and knew the cook.

“They offer a fusion of traditional Peruvian ingredients with a Spanish tapas style presentation,” he said. “When we were planning our menu, we decided to serve Peruvian dishes but incorporate more contemporary plating.”

For a new restaurant, El Chullo has their act together. Each element of an enjoyable dining experience is there: authentic food thoughtfully prepared, inviting and knowledgeable staff, and a relaxed atmosphere. Of my restaurant experiences in Phoenix over the last eight months, El Chullo ranks among my favorites. Plan your next night out to go enjoy every aspect of what this restaurant has added to Downtown’s cuisine offerings.



Downtown Directory Highlights First Street Improvements

Blue skies, green and purple paint, extended sidewalks and shade trees too.

The new 2014 Downtown Phoenix Directory debuted a few weeks ago, wrapped in locally-designed artwork that celebrates the First Street improvements completed by the City of Phoenix in late 2013.

Created by local artist Jon Arvizu, the design celebrates the pedestrian experience. The new artistic look of the publication continues the recent Downtown Phoenix Partnership publication initiative to highlight the Downtown Phoenix experience through art, other examples include the Dining Guide and Annual Report.

“I’m glad to see a renewed interest in making Downtown Phoenix a more pedestrian and bike-friendly destination,” Arvizu said about the improvements that inspired his cover artwork. “In a city this large, an accessible Downtown benefits everyone.”

The rendering also complements the new “Walking Tours” list featured in this year’s Downtown Directory, which encourages pedestrians to explore Downtown’s historic buildings and public art.

Besides walking tours, the Downtown Directory – the must-have resource for visitors and urban explorers – includes business listings for over 200 businesses and 120 restaurants in the 90-square-block Urban Core.

So pick up your own copy at businesses, restaurants or major event locations, or download it here, then go out for a walk on the town to see some of Downtown’s finest.



Grid Bike Share to Launch in April

Noticed the green bikes conspicuously stationed at various busy streets, crosswalks and intersections in Downtown Phoenix?

Well, beginning in April you’ll start to see a whole lot more. The Grid Bike Share program is expected to officially launch the week of April 21, finishing up in May for a total of 500 bikes at 50 stations, according to a Grid Bike Share news release.

The bikes you see right now are a part of a closed test program, with 10 bikes at three stations located near Orpheum Theater, Civic Space Park and the southeast side of the Arizona Center.

According to the release, 50 tentative bike share station sites have been identified and are being processed for installation before the April launch.


In other bike share news:

- Final talks are underway with several Grid Bike Share program sponsors
- Over the next few months, a “Grid Street Team” will debut to help inform the public about Grid Bike Share and memberships
- The Downtown Phoenix Partnership’s Ambassadors have gone through training so they can thoroughly answer any questions related to Grid Bike Share.

You can follow them on Facebook to stay up to date on all things two wheeled.

A Phoenix Newcomer Explores: The Crescent Ballroom

“The Crescent has really put Downtown Phoenix on the map musically.”

I couldn’t agree more as I talked with a recent acquaintance a few nights ago.  Since moving to Phoenix in July, Crescent Ballroom and its adjoining restaurant, Cocina 10, have quickly become one of my favorite hangouts in Downtown.  My first experience at Crescent Ballroom was Gregory Alan Isakov’s mesmerizing performance back in September.  I have been orbiting like a moon around this Valley-of-the-Sun gem ever since.

Location, location, location…

Crescent Ballroom falls just between the artsy Roosevelt Row area and the athletic hub created by the U.S. Airways Center and Chase Field.  For those living Downtown like myself, its location on Second Avenue and Van Buren Street is a short bike ride or—if necessary—an even shorter drive.  Parking is not terribly difficult to find, but you may find yourself walking several blocks if the musical act is drawing a sold-out crowd.  The building itself is a modestly renovated brick structure shared with an auto shop.  The outside seating is perfect for an early evening meet-up with a close friend; inside, the restaurant space is often crowded and lively.  There is plenty of table space for larger groups considering the square footage of the restaurant. Directly ahead of the main entrance, two large doors lead into the concert venue.  Most nights, the door’s windows are blacked out as musicians sound check in preparation for an evening show.  The spacious venue has several tiers of concrete bleachers in the back for those who prefer to sit.  In the back corner, there is a small bar if you’re looking to order another round during the show.  The dimly lit brick walls and raw wooden accents create an excellent atmosphere conducive to everything from an intimate conversation to a lively musical act.

Food & Drink Fare

Cocina 10’s drink offerings offer something for almost everyone.  The beer menu features local and national brews; the house beer, the Luche Libre Lager, is my personal favorite because of its light, well-rounded taste profile and $3 per pint price tag during happy hour.  The “Honey Badger” is their most popular cocktail according to the servers, a well-balanced mix of bourbon, ginger beer, bitters and daub of honey.  I have yet to explore the wine menu, but it showcases a small variety of moderately priced reds and whites a wine lover could appreciate.

If the drink menu hasn’t captured your attention, the mostly local and varied food menu certainly will.  Salads, upscale latin-inspired dishes and the popular Lalo Burger (named for Chicano music legend Lalo Guerrero) are delicious and reasonably priced.  During happy hour, the dollar chips and salsa are an excellent appetizer to accompany the Luche Libre Lager I noted earlier.  While I cannot speak to any particularly outstanding dishes, you will not be disappointed by whatever the Cocina 10 chefs dish up.

Music Acts & Events

A quick look online will reveal that music acts and events are what truly make the Crescent Ballroom stand out.  The Crescent is a hub for quality indie acts from well-known acts such as Gregory Alan Isakov and This Will Destroy You to local upstarts such as the Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, Dry River Yacht Club and the Haymarket Squares.  With such a wide variety of acts, tickets typically run from $5 to $25.  In addition, the venue hosts my new Sunday evening habit, trivia night, and frequent performances by the Arizona Storytellers Project to mix it up.

Simply put, the Crescent Ballroom is a well-executed cross section of a strong menu and excellent entertainment options.  Much has already been said about the Crescent, and I am merely adding my voice to the already enthusiastic approval from long-time Phoenicians.  If you have never been or haven’t been in some time, check their calendar, attend a show and find yourself immersed in the Downtown music scene.




Waste Management Phoenix Open

Is That Seat Taken?

Everyone knows the 16th hole at TPC Scottsdale is the Waste Management Phoenix Open’s most famous hole. The hole itself is an unassuming 160-yard par 3, but come tournament week it accommodates nearly 20,000 fans in a stadium-like atmosphere – one of the most unique experiences on the PGA TOUR from both a fan and player perspective. The 2014 event will feature 192 skyboxes surrounding the 16th hole up 20 from the last year’s total of 172. That’s a lot of seats! And, while tournament officials have always said the “sky’s the limit,” we think we just hit our sky. While the 16th hole may not have any more room to grow, one thing’s for sure, it is and will continue to be one of the most exciting and electrifying holes on the PGA TOUR.

There are, however, plenty of other holes with ample room to grow. Take holes 17 and 18 for instance. The 2012 event saw the Greenskeeper area – arguably one of the best venues at the Waste Management Phoenix Open – move lakeside adjacent to the 17th green and across the pond from the 18th tee. The stadium at the 16th hole didn’t happen overnight and moving the Greenskeeper area at last year’s event was step one in an overall plan to elevate the excitement at tournaments finishing two holes. Step two involves adding additional skyboxes on both 17 and 18 which had 29 and 26 skyboxes respectively last year. The plan also calls for added general admission grandstand seating near the 17th green and we even have something special for our retired and active military personnel and their families as a way of saying thanks for all they do in support of this country, called the Patriots’ Outpost.

Long story short, spectators at the 2014 event can enjoy the added seats positioned around the property, specifically the last four holes coming down the stretch – 15, 16, 17 and 18. It’s just one of the many reasons the Waste Management Phoenix Open gets better and better year-after-year.